Independent clinical trials have proved that both Gardasil and Cervarix are 100 percent effective in preventing the infection of strains 16 and 18 of HPV, which cause around 70 percent of known cervical cancer cases. Gardasil was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices saying that girls aged 11 and 12 should be given the vaccine.
A study published in the April 2006 online edition of the Lancet said that Cervarix successfully prevented the infection of HPV strains 31 and 45. Strains 16 and 18 along with 31 and 45 account for nearly 80 percent of cervical cancer cases. Meanwhile Merck has claimed that Gardasil is 99 percent effective in preventing strains 6 and 11, which when combined with strains 16 and 18 are responsible for 90 percent of genital wart cases.
Gardasil might have a “potential advantage” over Cervarix because it protects against strains 6 and 11, the Inquirer reports. GSK officials say that the narrower focus of Cervarix makes it better in preventing cervical cancer.
Gardasil Basics: Gardasil is a new vaccine being made by Merck & Co., Inc. and which has been approved by the FDA to prevent cervical cancer in females between the ages of 9 and 26 years of age.
Gardasil Facts: Gardasil won’t prevent all forms of genital warts or cervical cancers, but it is highly effective at preventing genital warts and cervical cancers that are caused by the types of HPV that the vaccine targets.
- Gardasil will be given as a three dose series completed over 6 months.
Who Should Get Gardasil: Since Gardasil prevents HPV, a sexually transmitted disease, it is important that it be given before people become sexually active. In fact, the ACIP recommends that Gardasil be routinely given to girls when they are 11 or 12 years of age. Gardasil can be started as early as age 9 though, and can also be given to women 13 to 26 years old.
Cervarix protects against 2 strains of HPV (16 and 18) that cause cervical cancer. Cervarix is also formulated with AS04, a proprietary adjuvant that boosts the immune system response for a longer period of time to HPV strains.
How long is Cervarix effective? :
Studies show that women who receive Cervarix between the ages of 15 and 25 have 100% protection against the two strains of HPV for 4.5 years.